The Baldwin Librarymt ^j.Z
IDLE HANDS,ANDOTHER STORIES.BYT. S. ARTHUR.PHILADELPHIA:PORTER AND COATES,822 CHESTNUT STREET.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, byPORTER & COATES,in the OfEe of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.MEARS & DUSBNBERY. STEREOTYPERS. H. B. ASHMEAD, PRINTER.
CONTENTS.PAGEIDLE ANDS, 23TIE LITTLE SAVOYARD, 31TIIE TEMPTER AND THE TEMPTED, 33READING THE BIBLE, 52TIE TALK OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD, 54W INOS, 67ONE ANGRY MOMENT, 68THESE ARE MY SONS, .79THE VISIT TO GRANDFATHER'S, .87DON'T, ......88THE UNWELCOME GUEST, 93MOTHER AND SON, 95LOOK TO TIE LIGHT,. .109EASTER EGGS AND EASTER CUSTOMS, 118EVERY LITTLE HELPS, 121DIDN'T THIINK, .. 126THE QUICK TEMPER, 135ABOUT A LITTLE GIRL WHO WISHED HERSELF A BIRD OR A BUTTER-FLY, 138(iii)
iv C0ONTENTS.PAGEMR. HEY'S FIVE DOLLAR BILL, 143A LESSON FOR THE TIMES, . . 153THE TEMPERANCE TRACT, .164THE TRUANT, . .186THE LOST PENKNIFE, . . 196FLOWERS, .. 200
ILLUSTRATIONS.PAGE.THE LITTLE SAVOYARD, 31READING THE BIBLE, .52W INGS, 67THE VISIT TO GRANDFATHER'S, . .87THE UNWELCOME GUEST, 93THE TRUANT, 186(v)
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IDLE HANDS.MR. THORNTON came home at his usual mid-day hour, and ashe went by the parlor door, he saw his daughter, a young lady ofnineteen, lounging on the sofa with a book in her hands. Thewhirr of his wife's sewing-machine struck on his ears at the samemoment. Without pausing at the parlor, he kept on to the roomfrom which came the sound of industry.Mrs. Thornton did not observe the entrance of her husband.She was bending close down over her work, and the noise of hermachine was louder than his footsteps on the floor. Mr. Thorntonstood looking at her for some moments without speaking." Oh, dear!" exclaimed the tired woman, letting her foot reston the treadle, and straightening herself up. "This pain inmy side is almost beyond endurance."" Then why do you sit, killing yourself there?" said Mr.Thornton.Mr. Thornton's aspect was unusually sober." What's the matter ? Why do you look so serious ?" askedhis wife."Because I feel serious," he answered." Has anything gone wrong?" Mrs. Thornton's countenancegrew slightly troubled. Things had gone wrong in her husband's(23)
24 IDLE HANDS.business more than once, and she had learned to dread the occur-rence of disaster."Things are wrong all the time," was replied, in some impa-tience of manner."In your business ?" Mrs. Thornton spoke a little faintly."No; nothing specially out of the way there; but it's allwrong at home.""I don't understand you, Harvey. What is wrong at home,pray ?""Wrong for you to sit, in pain and exhaustion, over thatsewing-machine, while an idle daughter lounges over a novel inthe parlor. That's what I wished to say."" It isn't Effie's fault. She often asks to help me. But Ican't see the child put down to household drudgery. Her timewill come soon enough. Let her have a little ease and comfortwhile she may.""If we said that of our sons," replied Mr. Thornton, "andacted on the word, what efficient men they would make for theworld's work! How admirably furnished they would be for life'strials and duties!"You are wrong in this thing-all wrong," continued thehusband. " And touching ease and comfort, as you say, if Effieis a right-minded girl, she will have more true enjoyment in theconsciousness that she is lightening her mother's burdens, than itis possible to obtain from the finest novel ever written. Excite-ment of the imagination is no substitute for that deep peace ofmind that ever accompanies and succeeds the right discharge ofdaily duties. It is a poor compliment to Effie to suppose that she
IDLE HANDS. 25can be content to sit with idle hands, or to employ them inlight frivolities, while her mother is worn down with toil beyondher strength. Hester, it must not be !""And it shall not be " said a quick, firm voice.Mr. Thornton and his wife started, and turned to the speaker,who had entered the room unobserved, and been a listener tonearly all the conversation we have recorded."It shall not be, father!" And Effie came and stood byMr. Thornton. Her face was crimson; her eyes flooded withtears, through which light was flashing; her form drawn uperectly; her manner resolute."It isn't all my fault," she said, as she laid her hand on herfather's arm. "I've asked mother, a great many times, to letme help her, but she always puts me off, and says it's easier todo a thing herself than to show another. Maybe I am a littledull. But every one has to learn, you know. Mother didn't gether hand in fairly with that sewing-machine for two or threeweeks, and I'm certain it wouldn't take me any longer. If she'donly teach me how to use it, I could help her a great deal. Andindeed, father, I'm willing!""Spoken in the right spirit, my daughter," said Mr. Thorn-ton, approvingly. "Girls should be usefully employed as wellas boys, and in the very things most likely to be required ofthem when they become women in the responsible positions ofwives and mothers. Depend upon it, Effie, an idle girlhood isnot the way to a cheerful womanhood. Learn and do, now, thevery things that will be required of you in after years, and thenyou will have an acquired facility. Habit and skill will makeeasy what might come hard, and be felt as very burdensome."
26 IDLE HANDS."And you would have her abandon all self-improvement ?" saidMrs. Thornton. " Give up music, reading, society-""There are," replied Mr. Thornton, as his wife paused foranother word, "some fifteen or sixteen hours of each day, inwhich mind or hands should be rightly employed. Now, let ussee how Effie is spending these long and ever-recurring periods oftime. Come, my daughter, sit down. We have this subject fairlybefore us. It is one of a life-long importance to you, and shouldbe well considered. How is it in regard to the employment ofyour time ? Take yesterday, for instance. The records of a daywill help us to get towards the result after which we are nowsearching."Effie sat down, and Mr. Thornton drew a chair in front of hiswife and daughter." Take yesterday, for instance," said the father. " How wasit spent ? You rose at seven, I think ?""Yes, sir; I came down just as the breakfast-bell was rung,"replied Effie."And your mother was up at half-past five, I know, and com-plained of feeling so weak that she could hardly dress herself.But, for all this, she was at work until breakfast time. Now, ifyou had risen at six, and shared your mother's work until seven,you would have taken an hour from her day's burdens, and cer-tainly lost nothing from your music, self-improvement, or socialintercourse. How was it after breakfast ? How was the morningspent ?""I practised on the piano an hour after breakfast."" So far so good. What then ?""I read 'The Cavalier' until eleven o'clock."
IDLE HANDS. 27Mr. Thornton shook his head, and asked, "After eleven, howwas the time spent ?""I dressed myself and went out.""At what time did you go out ?""A little after twelve o'clock.""An hour was spent in dressing ?""Yes, sir.""Where did you go ?""I called for Helen Boyd, and we took a walk down Broad-way."And came home just in time for dinner? I think I metyou at the door.""Yes, sir.""How was it after dinner ?""I slept from three until five, and then took a bath anddressed myself. From six until tea-time, I sat at the parlorwindow."" And after tea ?""Read the Cavalier' until I went to bed.""At what hour ?""Eleven o'clock.""Now we can make up the account," said Mr. Thornton."You rose at seven and retired at eleven. Sixteen hours. Andfrom your own account of the day, but a single hour was spentin anything useful-that was the hour at your piano. Now, yourmother was up at half-past five, and went to bed, from sheerinability to sit at her work any longer, at half-past nine. Six-teen hours for her, also. How much reading did you do in thattime ?"
28 IDLE HANDS.And Mr. Thornton looked at his wife."Reading! Don't talk to me of reading! I've no time toread !"Mrs. Thornton answered a little impatiently. The contrast ofher daughter's idle hours with her own life of exhausting toil,did not affect her mind very pleasantly."And yet," said Mr. Thornton, "you were always fond ofreading, and I can remember when no day went by without anhour or two passed with your books. Did you lie down afterdinner ?"" Of course not."" Nor take a pleasant walk down Broadway ? Nor sit at theparlor window with Effie ? How about that ?"There was no reply." Now, the case is a very plain one," continued Mr. Thorn-ton. "In fact, nothing could be plainer. You spend fromfourteen to sixteen hours every day in hard work, while Effie,taking yesterday as a sample, spends about the same time in whatis little better than idleness. Suppose a new adjustinent were totake place, and Effie were to be usefully employed in helpingyou for eight hours of each day, she would still have eight hoursleft for self-improvement and recreation, and you, relieved fromyour present overtasked condition, might get back a portion ofthe health and spirits of which these too heavy household dutieshave robbed you.""Father !" said Effie, speaking through tears that were fallingover her face, "I never saw things in this light. Why haven'tyou talked to me before ? I've often felt as if I'd like to helpmother. But she never gives me anything to do; and if I offer
IDLE HANDS. 29to help her, she says 'You can't do it,' or, 'I'd rather do itmyself.' Indeed, it isn't all my fault!""It may not have been in the past, Effie," replied Mr. Thorn-ton. "But it certainly will be in the future, unless there is anew arrangement of things. It is a false social sentiment thatlets daughters become idlers, while mothers, fathers, and sons takeup the daily burden of work, and bear it through all the busyhours."Mrs. Thornton did not come gracefully into the new order ofthings proposed by her husband and accepted by Effie. Falsepride in regard to her daughter, and an inclination to do herself,rather than take the trouble to teach another, were all so manyimpediments. But Effie and her father were both in earnest,and it was not long before the overtasked mother's weary facebegan to lose its look of weariness, and her languid frame tocome up to an erecter bearing. She could find time for the oldpleasure in books, now and then, for a healthy walk in the street,and a call on some valued friend.And was Effie the worse for this change ? Did the burden shewas sharing with her mother depress her shoulders, and take thelightness from her step? Not so. The languor engendered byidleness, which had begun to show itself, disappeared in a fewweeks; the color came warmer into her cheeks; her eyes gainedin brightness. She was growing, in fact, more beautiful, for amind cheerfully conscious of duty was moulding every lineamentof her countenance into a new expression.Did self-improvement stop? 0, no! From one to two hourswere given to close practice at the piano every day. Her mind,becoming vigorous in tone, instead of enervated by idleness, chose
80 IDLE HANDS.a better order of reading than had been indulged before, and shewas growing towards a thoughtful, cultivated, intelligent woman-hood. She also found time, amid her home duties, for an hourtwice a week with a German teacher, and she began, also, to culti-vate a natural taste for drawing. Now that she was employingher hours usefully, it seemed wonderful how much time she foundat her disposal for useful work.How cheerful and companionable she grew! She did not seemlike the Effie Thornton of a few months before. In fact, thesphere of the entire household was changed. As an idler, Efiehad been a burden to all the rest, and the weight of that burdenhad been sufficient to depress, through weariness, the spirits ofall. But now that she was standing up, self-sustained, and notonly self-sustained, but a sharer in the burdens of each, all heartscame back to a lighter measure, beating rhythmically and inconscious enjoyment.
nilTHE LIITTLE~F SAVOYARD.T)
THE LITTLE SAVOYARD.You have heard of the poor little Savoyard boys, who wanderoff to Paris, with their hurdygurdies, to pick up a living in thestreets of that great city. Savoy is one of the most mountain-ous countries in Europe. It lies amid the Alps, bounded on thenorth by Switzerland; and Mont Blanc, the highest point inEurope, rises from its territory. There are few, if any, level plainsin Savoy. It is nearly all steep mountain-side, and narrow valley ;and the produce of grain and other articles from the soil, isscarcely sufficient to give food to the inhabitants. In some dis-tricts, the lower classes live mostly on chestnuts. Cattle-raising,cheese and butter making, and cutting timber on the mountains,are the chief employments of the people.So you see there is not much encouragement in Savoy, forthe youths growing up amid its ungenial mountains. In conse-quence of this, many Savoyards leave home early in life, and go intoFrance, where they become petty traders and servants. Theyounger children often follow this example, and with a hurdy-gurdy, a few white mice, a monkey or a pet dog, wander throughthe neighboring countries, and manage to get a scanty living.(31)
82 THE LITTLE SAVOYARD.Our picture shows us one of these homeless wanderers, sharingwith his dog the dinner he has helped him to earn. He has apure pleasant face, and as you look upon it, your heart is drawntowards the boy. Though poor, neglected, cast-off, he is before youas an image of justice. No selfish greed of food-no pressureof hunger-can make him keep back, even from a dog, theportion that is his due.
THE TEMPTER AND THE TEMPTED." DID you sell him that case of goods, Edward?" said Mr. Craig,speaking to a young man who had just parted with a customerat the door, and was walking back along one of the aisles of boxes,with his sales book in his hand."No, sir," replied the clerk. He did not speak cheerfully.His failure to make a sale to the customer had a little dashed hisspirits."Why not?"" I couldn't recommend the colors as fast," said the youngman."Indeed!" There was something of surprise and somethingof impatience in the merchant's voice." That was the simple difficulty, uncle James," replied theclerk, in a firm voice, and with a steady eye. "If I co.uldhave spoken confidently in regard to the colors, he would havetaken the case."" How did you know the colors were defective ?" inquired Mr.Craig. He d'd not seem at all angry with the young man."I saw a letter from one of our Western customers, whobought a case of the same goods."Mr. Craig stood musing for some moments."I must have a little earnest talk with you, Edward," he then2 (33)
34 THE TEMPTER AND THE TEMPTED.said, kindly, but seriously. And he retired with the young man,his nephew, into his private counting-room.Mr. James Craig was a merchant in New York, and EdwardForsyth, who was in his twentieth year, was the son of hisyoungest sister, a widow. On a visit to his sister, who livedfifty miles from New York, Mr. Craig met his nephew forthe first time in four years, and was particularly pleasedwith him. Edward was clerk in a country store, where he hadbeen for over a year. Mr. Craig observed him closely, and sawthat he was bright and active, and had a turn for business."I think I shall have to take Edward to New York with me,"said he to his sister, one morning.But Mrs. Forsyth shook her head."I am afraid of the city, James," was her seriously spokenanswer." The city is just as safe as the country," replied Mr. Craig."It all depends upon a young man's associations. Virtue isnot alone confined to the woods and fields and flower gardens.That is one of the popular errors cherished by country people-asort of rural superstition. We have as good associations, andquite as untainted a moral atmosphere, in New York, as youhave in Olney. Edward is pure and right-minded. I havealready discovered that. Let him go anywhere, and he willseek companions who are congenial. Like draws to like, youknow. You may set your heart at rest on that subject, Alice.If he were viciously inclined, he would seek out the vicious here-they are to be found everywhere. The danger is not on theoutside. The heart is its own tempter."
THE TEMPTER AND THE TEMPTED. 35"What would you do with Edward in New York?" askedMrs. Forsyth."Take him into my own store, and into my own family. Hewill make a splendid business man. All he wants is opportunity.I have observed him closely among his country customers, andam satisfied that all he wants is a little training, and a little ex-perience, to make him equal to the best salesman I have ever seen.Such ability ought not to be lost here."Mr. Craig was rich, his sister poor, and Edward active and ambi-tious. So all things favored this removal of the young man fromOlney to New York. The change took place about two monthsafter his uncle's return to the city.A very careful eye did the thrifty merchant keep upon hisnephew, in whom he saw qualities, which, if rightly trained, weredestined to make him, before the lapse of a great many years, aman of note in the mercantile world.The incident, mentioned at the beginning of our story, occurredabout two months after Edward's removal to New York."I must have a little earnest talk with you," said Mr. Craig,and they retired into the merchant's private office." You should have sold that case of goods, Edward," said Mr.Craig, as he handed a chair to the young man, and tookanother in front of him. There was not the slightest tone thatindicated feeling at the loss of the sale in the uncle's voice. Buthis whole manner was kind and frank, and intended to put Ed-ward entirely at his ease." I have already stated the difficulty in the way," was replied." I could not recommend the colors.""You were not required to know anything about the colors,"
36 THE TEMPTER AND THE TEMPTED.said Mr. Craig, with a smile and in a tone that were meant toproduce the impression that his nephew was rather an unsophisti-cated young man. " Your business was to sell the goods.""I could not say that the colors were fast, when Iknew that they were not." Edward spoke firmly, while the flushgrew warmer in his face." Of course you could not; for that would have been a falsehood,and no merchant ever gains anything in the end by direct lying,or bold false pretences. The best reputation a house can have,is a reputation for upright dealing. But there is such a thing asbeing too upright, Edward; and this is just the matter I wish toimpress upon your mind. That case of goods, you are aware,cost us within a fraction of the other goods in the same invoice.Having bought, we must sell it, and let it work out its ownsalvation. Now if I had been dealing with the customer who wasin your hands, and he had questioned me in regard to the colorsin that case of goods, I would have answered, as I pointed to themanufacturer's mark-"' The mills have the highest reputation in the country forstability of color.' And that would have been stating nothingbut the truth. He would have bought. What then? Our housewould have sustained no injury. Only the reputation of the -mills would have suffered; the responsibility resting just where itbelonged."The eyes of the young man fell to the floor, and he sat indeep thought for some time, while the gaze of his uncle was fixedintently upon him."You apprehend the difference," said Mr. Craig, breaking inupon his nephew's state of abstraction.
THE TEMPTER AND THE TEMPTED. 37" I think I do," replied Edward." Nothing is clearer," said Mr. Craig, speaking in a very deci-ded way. "Nothing is clearer. The true salesman keeps alwaysin view the best points in an article of merchandise, and, ifthere be any defects-and nothing is perfect in this world-heleaves them in the shade. Don't you see, that if the customer'sthought were turned to defects rather than excellence, he wouldbe deterred from buying ?"The mind of Edward was not satisfied. He did not see asclearly as his uncle desired, and said something about justicebetween man and man."Let me show you the matter in another light," said Mr.Craig. " The salesman's duty to his employer is to sell his goods,and he is under obligation to do so to the best of his ability.Now, it may happen that the goods of a neighboring merchantare either cheaper, or of superior quality. What then? Shallthe salesman, in his regard for justice between man and man, asyou say, divulge this fact to his customer, and thus lose the salehe might otherwise have made? How would you act in such acase? Let me press the question home. Suppose you knewthat our neighbor Allison had bought a few cases of French silksat auction twenty per cent. below what we had paid for thesame goods, and that, in endeavoring to make the sale of a case,the question were put to you, whether we were selling as lowas the goods were to be had in the market. What answer wouldyou make?"The young man sat thoughtful for some moments. The pecu-liarly kind and insinuating manner of his uncle, and the ingeniousway in which he advanced his propositions, were rather clouding
88 THE TEMPTER AND THE TEMPTED.his perceptions, and he felt some light touches of shame at havingshown himself a little old-fashioned in his notions of trade morals."I certainly should not tell him that he could buy cheapernext door," replied Edward, smiling, yet reddening as he spoke." No; I would hardly look for such excessive verdancy in myclear-headed nephew," said Mr. Craig. "But let me hear howyou would answer, or evade his direct question.""It would be easy enough to blind him," replied the youngman, who was remarkably quick-thoughted. " I could say, thatwe were in the habit of buying as low as our neighbors, and sell-ing at as small an advance as any in the trade. Or, that we madeless profit on the goods offered than upon many articles of whichwe sold ten cases to one. Or-but, there are a hundred ways inwhich a customer, who is over sharp in his questions, may beanswered, yet not enlightened. I could do it easily enough.There is no trouble so far as that is concerned."" Very well, Edward," said Mr. Craig. " That is just what Iwant you to do with all customers who seek the kind of informa-tion it is not our interest to impart. I wish you to be very wisein all that pertains to my interests, and very ignorant in all thatwould militate against them. Your duty, as a salesman, is toyour employer, not to his customer. Set down this axiomon the first page of your book of mercantile morals."When Edward Forsyth went out from the private counting-roomof his uncle, after much more had been said to him than we canhere record, he was not, in all things, the same young man hewas before that all-important interview. Mr. Craig was a mer-chant who believed in the doctrine, "every man for himself,"and lived fully up to his belief. He regarded all merchants as
THE TEMPTER AND THE TEMPTED. 39so many keen sharpers, and he scrupled not to be even with thesharpest-always, however, working with great skill, and neverlosing sight of the fact, that a general reputation for fair dealingwas the best capital in trade that a merchant could have. Atthis, and subsequent interviews with Edward, he succeeded inbreaking down all his over-nice scruples, as he called them,and fully indoctrinating him in his peculiar code of morals.From that time, Edward Forsyth gave himself wholly up tohis uncle's business views, and ere long, scrupled not to take thebroadest advantage of a customer, whenever it could be donesafely. So well pleased was Mr. Craig, that, in the courseof a year or two, he advanced him, by gradual stages, to aposition of high trust in the business. Singularly enough, hehad the most unbounded confidence in the young man's integrity,so far as his interests were concerned; notwithstanding they hadbeen often in close conference, discussing schemes, and drawingout plans of operations, by which individual gain might besecured at the expense of a general loss. Remarkably shrewd,in this line of business, did Edward grow from year to year, andhis uncle saw reason to stimulate this shrewdness by giving him apercentage of profit on all successful speculations projected byhim, and on all business which his personal efforts could increase.At twenty-five, Edward Forsyth was in advance of his pre-ceptor, and scrupled not at any degree of unfair dealing whichhe was able to gloss over so entirely as to hide its true quality.His uncle's customers were not the only ones upon whom heexercised his skill, or between whom and himself he threw up ablind. As he grew older, he naturally grew,.fed by the peculiarkind of mental aliment upon which he existed, more and more
40 THE TEMPTER AND TEE TEMPTED.intensely selfish. Regard for his uncle's interests changed,naturally, into a single regard for himself; and at the age wehave mentioned, twenty-five, the ambition to be rich so fullypossessed him, that he resolved to acquire wealth at allhazards.Who was most in his power? His blindly confiding uncle, orthe shrewd, watchful, alert public? We need not answer thequestion. The apt scholar had gone far beyond his master.With exceeding circumspection did Edward take his initiativein the work of changing the relation of certain property-transferring it from his uncle's possession to his own, or ratherin its transmission from other parties, letting a large excess,beyond what was right, come to himself, while his uncle fullybelieved that an equitable division had been made. Edwardfound a ready justification in his own thoughts, if conscienceshowed the smallest inclination to be troublesome, by assumingthat in these transactions the advantage was mainly due to hisshrewdness, and that there was no justice in giving his uncle thelion's share.Soon the whole current of the young man's thoughts ran in onedirection."I am determined to be rich," he said, communing with him-self. "Money is power-money gives position-money is every-thing in this world. I have worked long enough for my uncle,who seems to grow greedier of gain as he grows older. Iam now going to work for myself, though not by myself. Myopportunities, as things now stand, are too good to be lightlyabandoned. I shall not cut loose, until my vessel is well freighted,and I have an open sea and fair wind."
THE TEMPTER AND THE TEMPTED. 41Gradually, but surely, did Edward, from this period, get thebusiness of his uncle so much under his control, that his mindbecame ubiquitous in every part of it. There was not a trans-action of any importance in which he was not a prominent nego-tiator, and many of their largest customers dealt with him as aprincipal. His policy now was, to induce a state of easy indiffer-ence upon the mind of his uncle-to think for him in all matters ofbusiness, and so let him fall into a state of confiding indolence.Everything worked to his entire satisfaction. Then he suggestedremotely, that Mr. Craig should go abroad, and make certaindesirable connections in London and Paris. The thought waspleasant to Mr. Craig. Relieved from the heavy pressure of hisbusiness by his active, competent nephew, he was beginning tohave a desire for change of recreation. He had never been toParis or London, and the idea of going there was quite agree-able.Edward did not press the matter. That might have awakeneda suspicion; and he was beginning to fear that the subject hadbeen dismissed from the thoughts of his uncle, when the lattersaid to him one morning:"Edward-do you think I could be spared for two or threemonths?"" How spared ?" The young man knew well enough what hemeant, for he had acquired the power of almost reading hisuncle's thoughts, so close were his habits of observation in thisdirection." Spared for a trip across the ocean," replied Mr. Craig."0 yes," was answered in a cheerful manner. "I think we
42 THE TEMPTER AND THE TEMPTED.can get along without you for that length of time. When do youthink of going ?""If I go at all, it will be on the first of next month. Howstand our business matters in view of my absence ?"" I know of nothing that lies in the way of your taking abrief respite," said the nephew. "Doubtless, I can manageeverything alone, for so brief a space of time."Mr. Craig was in earnest. Having the utmost confidence inhis nephew, both as regarded capacity and integrity, he saw noreason to hesitate on the question of leaving everything underhis control. It never for an instant crossed his mind that theyoung man whom he had so thoroughly imbued with his peculiarnotions of business, might be tempted to sin against him, as hewas in the habit of sinning against fellow-men, almost daily.All things arranged for leaving, Mr. Craig executed a powerof attorney in favor of his nephew, giving him the right to signchecks and notes, make acceptances, and transact all thingsrelating to the business in his name-thus by a single stroke ofthe pen, giving him the entire control over tens of thousands ofdollars.The temptation proved too strong for Edward's weakened prin-ciple. Years of unscrupulous overreaching in trade; of systematicwrong practised towards others; of eager grasping after gain,had ripened him for this opportunity. Mr. Craig had taught himtoo thoroughly in the school of neighborly disregard, to leaveanything in that direction for the young man to learn. Together,with how much care and skill had they plotted against the world;and how successfully had they executed their schemes! Now the
THE TEMPTER AND THE TEMPTED. 43more eager, active plotter, had his fellow almost wholly in hispower, and, as just said, the temptation was too strong for him.Mr. Craig had been in London two months, when he receiveda letter from a merchant in New York-an old friend-contain-ing this remark, which seemed to be thrown in incidentally:" Your nephew has made a very handsome investment in uptownlots, which shows his shrewdness. In five years, they will beworth more than twice their present value."He had letters of the same date from Edward, who wrote himby every steamer; always with the amplest business details, andalways showing things to be in a prosperous condition. But noreference was made to any transactions of his own.Mr. Craig pondered this sentence in the merchant's letter,turning it over and over again in his mind, and viewing it onevery side. The more he considered it, the more it troubled him.Yet, he could not, for an instant, question the young man's faith-fulness to his trust. He would almost have doubted himself aswell. Doubted himself! In his own eyes, he was an honorablemerchant. A high-minded man. If he had overreached othersin ways innumerable, that was only in legitimate businesstransactions.It was a fact very well known to Mr. Craig, that Edward madesome money in their joint speculations, and that the percentageof profits in some cases had been quite an important item in theyoung man's favor."He has merely invested his own money," said the merchantto himself, arguing against his vague fears; and he thus dismissedthe subject from a prominent place in his mind, and turned histhoughts to an enjoyment of the many new sources of pleasure
44 THE TEMPTER AND THE TEMPTED.which a first visit abroad opened to him. A week later, and aparagraph in a letter from the same friend, disturbed his peace.It rar thus:"Your nephew made a singularly fortunate speculation instocks last week. I am told that he realized, in a single opera-tion, over forty thousand dollars. Is the transaction a jointaccount ?"That was all on the subject. But it was enough to awaken ahost of unpleasant doubts in the mind of Mr. Craig.A letter from Edward, received about the same time, containedthe first item of unpleasant news which the young man had seenfit to communicate. It was thus stated:"I am sorry to disturb you with the fact, that Messrs. A-and B- of St. Louis, have failed. Our account against themis ten thousand dollars. The failure, as far as I am able to learn,will be a bad one. Of course, I have taken the most promptmeasures required by our interests in the case. I mention thisfailure as in duty bound! Oh, pray do not let it mar your en-joyments, nor shorten the period of your visit abroad. Trustme to do all that you could possibly do, were you here yourself."At the end of three months from the time Mr. Craig left NewYork, he made hurried preparations for returning. The tenor ofcertain letters, received while in Lyons, startled him into a fear-ful suspicion that the young man he had trusted so implicitly,was playing him foul."It is my opinion," wrote his old mercantile friend, "that youhad better be at home. I may be a little old-fogyish in my notionsof business-I think you once said as much-but I cannot resistthe impression that your nephew is running a little wild. I heard
THE TEMPTER AND THE TEMPTED. 45him boasting, a day or two since, that your house would sell twodollars this year to one sold last season. Now, it is easy enoughto sell goods, as you know, and to scatter them over all creation.But making collections is another thing. You may have confi-dence in Edward's judgment, and feel satisfied that he is dealingprudently. All very well this to feed your complacent self-secu-rity. But this I know, he sold a new firm in the West, as I havelearned, a very heavy bill of goods this week, when I would haverefused them credit to the amount of five hundred dollars. Why,you ask? Simply, because the report touching their mercantilestanding at home reads thus: 'No capital, and no credit here.'I am cognisant of another sale quite as wild as this. So, myadvice is, for you to come home at once, and look closely int)the state of your business."On the next morning Mr. Craig started from Lyons, and inthree weeks he was in New York. His movements had been sohurried, that no letters announcing his coming could precede him,and the first intimation Edward had of his arrival, was the publi-cation of his name among those of the passengers, given in anextra issued within an hour after the steamer had touched thewharf.Edward was sitting alone in the private counting-room, whenthe extra was laid before him. Almost the first word that methis eye, as he glanced down upon the sheet, was the name of Mr.Craig, as a passenger. He started, and for an instant his mindwas in a whirl of confused thoughts and feelings. His uncle hadreturned too soon for him by a whole month! Just that timewas needed for the completion of his well-digested plans, by whichnot less than two-thirds of that uncle's property would have been
46 THE TEMPTER AND THE TEMPTED.left in a condition to fall easily into his hands, and in a way themost difficult to trace to his designing.For about ten minutes Edward sat as motionless as a statue.Then, taking from the fire-proof a large pocket-book, which heconcealed on his person, he left the counting-room, and passedfrom the store without a word to any one. Five minutes later,we find him in a retired room, away up in the fourth story of alarge building in the neighborhood of the Exchange. As he en-tered, locking the door behind him, he said to the only personwho was in the room, speaking in an excited voice:" Mr. Craig has just arrived in the steamer !"The man started to his feet, with a profane expression, and acountenance filled with sudden alarm. For some moments thetwo men stood looking at each other in silence, and with blankfaces."What does it mean?" was at length inquired."It means everything for us," replied Edward Forsyth. "Whatmocking fiend has whispered suspicion in his ears?""Will you see him ?" asked the man."No! By midnight I must be far from here. See him! Amonth from this day, and I could have met him with a face ascalm as a June morning. He would have been completely in mytoils, and, almost without exciting a suspicion, my plans wouldhave worked themselves out to certain results. Now, with suspi-cion awakened, as it must be, he would discover my game in lessthan twenty-four hours-do all I could to prevent it. So, nothingis left to me but a hurried flight. In this pocket-book are billsof acceptance amounting to something like fifty thousand dollars.I will remain here just long enough to make the proper endorse-
THE TEMPTER AND THE TEMPTED. 47ments, under my power of attorney, so as to enable you. tonegotiate them on the street to-day, and then take cars for Albany,where I wish you to join me to-morrow morning. After we havefully matured our plans, you can return to the city. My owncourse is not yet decided."The old adage about honor among rogues may be true enough,but it refers to rogues' honor, as confiding rogues have from timeimmemorial discovered. Edward Craig had found it impossibleto work successfully against his uncle, without an accomplice,who was an old friend; but, like his uncle, he forgot that anaccomplice in dishonest practices is never to be trusted.To Albany the young man fled, and there awaited, in tremblingsuspense, the arrival of his friend. But that friend, after ne-gotiating a large amount of the business paper given into hishands, and carefully considering the question of his own interestin the case, concluded that he had more to gain by an abandon-ment of Edward to his fate, than by any further complicity withhim. So, on the next morning, he called upon Mr. Craig, andreturned him bills to the amount of seven or eight thousand dol-lars, saying that he had failed to negotiate these out of a numberthat had been placed in his hands to sell. As a blind he handedover a check for three thousand dollars, the proceeds of certainnotes alleged to have been discounted. He did not stop here;but managed to start the rumor that Edward was in Albany. Noone could trace the rumor to its source; but it set telegraphs andpolice officers in motion, and on the next day the unhappy youngman was an inmate of the Tombs.Three months afterwards he was brought forth to the gaze of
48 THE TEMPTER AND THE TEMPTED.curious thousands, and placed at the bar for trial. Suffering hadwrought upon him a fearful work; but he maintained a cold,almost defiant air. He had the best counsel that could be pro-cured in New York, and, after a protracted trial, escaped con-viction. His uncle failed on the day the jury brought in theirverdict of not guilty under the indictment. Failed hopelessly.The ruin of his fortunes was complete.One week later, and Mr. Craig, who had passed through a dayof almost heart-breaking trials, was sitting, gloomy and silent, inthe midst of his troubled family, whose eyes were turned fearfullytowards the dark and threatening future, when the servant cameto the door, and said that a gentleman was in the parlor."Did he send up his name ?" asked Mr. Craig."No, sir," replied the servant. "I asked his name, but hedeclined giving it."" Say that I will be down in a few minutes."After assuming a composed exterior, Mr. Craig went down tomeet this unknown visitor. As he entered the parlor a man arosefrom one of the sofas, and advanced towards the centre of theroom."Edward!" exclaimed Mr. Craig, stopping suddenly. Indig-nation and surprise were in his voice.The young man paused, and fixed his eyes steadily upon theface of his uncle. He was very pale, but his tightly-closed lipsand unwavering gaze showed that he had come with a purpose."It maddens me-this bold assurance !" exclaimed Mr. Craig,stamping upon the floor. " How dare you look me in the face ?""Is the tempter a higher being than the tempted, that he mayspurn his victim?" said Edward Forsyth, in a deep voice, and
THE TEMPTER AND THE TEMPTED. 49with measured utterance. "It is in vain, sir. On me all yourvirtuous indignation is lost.""Peace, viper! I warmed you in my bosom, and you havestung me to the death in return Out of my presence and donot add wanton insult to the deepest injury one man can inflictupon another."But Edward stood perfectly calm."It is all in vain, sir," he replied, in the same deep voice."You cannot reach me by any such words. I am here, to-night,for a purpose, and will retire after my work is done. And myfirst business is to convict you of a crime.""Beware, Edward!" Mr. Craig spoke, in a warning tone."The crime of corrupting a young man, the son of your onlysister-thank God that He did not permit her to see this day!-who came to you with his mother's parting words, 'be just, myson, towards all men,' in his heart. Very adroitly, and with niceinsinuation, did you instil a different philosophy into his mind,teaching him the specious art of using words to conceal the truth,in order that you might gain at the price of another's loss. Youtaught him to wrong his neighbor for your benefit; and weaklyimagined that he would not use his skill for his own ends as wellas yours, when the opportunity came. But you made a terriblemistake. The corrupt heart is liege to no one."Before these sentences were half finished Mr. Craig had sunkalmost nerveless into a chair."I studied deeply your code of mercantile morals, and becamea thorough proficient in the practice thereof, as you are wellaware," continued Edward Forsyth. "We hunted together with3
50 THE TEMPTER AND THE TEMPTED.a keen scent, and rarely missed our prey. You grew richer everyday, and I less scrupulous. We cared not who lost, so that wegained."Edward paused for some moments, but as his uncle showed noinclination to reply, he added, in a changed voice, though still inan impressive manner-"As men plant, so will they reap. As the seed is, so will thefruit be. You drew me aside from the path of honor and of truth,in which my sainted mother placed my feet, and your reward iswith you. Men say that you are ruined in fortune. I hear it onall sides. Ah! what a light thing is that to a ruined reputation-and how light a thing is even that to a blighted honor !"Here Edward showed the first signs of emotion. But he re-covered himself, and- went on, drawing from beneath his arm athick packet of papers, as he spoke." Suffering, Uncle James, has done, I trust, the salutary workit was designed to accomplish. I mean to begin the world again,but far from here, under an assumed name, and on the preceptof my mother, which you swept aside with your specious reason-ings-'be just, my son, towards all men.' I may not grow richunder the precept, but I will be a better and happier man than Ihave been during the past six years. And now, sir, let me restoreto you all the property yet in my possession. You will find itquite sufficient, I trust, to stay the course of events which mensay is sweeping you to hopeless ruin. These papers contain theunreserved transfer of property, in value not less than fifty thou-sand dollars. Yesterday I called it mine. To-day it is yours;and I go forth into the world again, penniless, but with cleaner
THE TEMPTER AND THE TEMPTED. 51hands, and, I trust, a purer heart, than have been mine for years.Farewell! And may you be wiser and better for this lesson andthis hour !"As he said these last words, Edward Forsyth laid the papersof which he had spoken upon a table, and turning off abruptly,left the house, ere Mr. Craig had sufficiently recovered from hissurprise to make an effort to retain him. He never saw him after-wards, and never heard of him, though he made many efforts todiscover the place to which he had gone. On his death, his willwas found to contain a particular reference to Edward, with in-timations that the young man was far less to blame for the actswhich had ruined his fortunes and blasted his reputation, thansome others who had wholly escaped public censure. Then fol-lowed:-" I give and bequeath to my said nephew, Edward For-syth, the sum of twenty thousand dollars, and direct that noticeof this legacy be published for the space of one year in three NewYork papers of the widest circulation, unless within that time mysaid nephew should come forward and claim this bequest."But the legacy was never claimed. Whether the nephew hadalso passed that bourne from which no traveller returns; or wheth-er, still living, his spirit shrunk from the identification that mustaccompany his claim under the will, is altogether unknown. Atthe expiration of a certain legal period, the sum bequeathedpassed to the residuary legatee and there the matter closed-thetempter and the tempted alike forgotten in the eager, contending,grasping world of trade, where once they had wrought out suc-cess with as little scruple in regard to the means, as the mostselfish and unscrupulous in the land. Their history has its moral,and that is with the reader.
READING THE BIBLE."I LOVE to read the Bible," said a little boy, who had to spellall the words above two syllables. " Show me the place whereJoseph's brethren found him in Egypt."His mother turned the leaves of the great Bible until she cameto the beautiful story of Joseph."Why do you love to read the Bible ?" she asked, as she wasturning the leaves."I don't know; but I always feel good-that is, pleasant; youknow what I mean, mother.""But you don't know why you feel pleasant? Shall I tellyou.""Yes, dear mother."" This book is the Word of God. Think what that means-theWord of God; God speaking. If this be so, then divine truthmust lie hidden in every sentence; and as you read, you drawnear as to your spirit to God and his angels."A look of tender reverence came into the child's face."And you cannot be near angelic spirits," continued themother, "without perceiving something of the happiness thatfills their souls. This is the reason why you feel good, orpleasant, when reading the Bible. You then come nigh to God,and to the angels who are ever in his holy presence."(52)
READING THE BIBLE.
READING THE BIBLE. 53" Oh! I shall always think of that," said the child. "When Iwant the angels near me, I will read in the Bible.""Not carelessly or thoughtlessly," answered the mother, "butreverently.""God's book! God's word!" The little boy said this,speaking to himself, as if new light were coming into his mind."I won't forget that."And leaning over the Book, he read with a new delight, thetouching story of Joseph and his Brethren.
THE TALK OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD." WHo went to the door just now?" demanded a young lady,entering the parlor with a quick step, and showing considerableexcitement of manner." I did," was answered by a girl of fifteen, with the air of onehalf conscious of a wrong."You did? So I imagined!. What on earth possesses you torun to the door every time the bell rings, Emily? Servantsanswer bells-not young ladies. Pray let us have an end of this.We'll be the talk of the whole neighborhood."" I can't see any particular harm in opening the door for avisitor," was answered." Harm! It's vulgar. People will think we don't keepservants.""I can't see what business other people have with the arrange-ment of our family," said the younger sister, speaking moreresolutely. " Suppose we didn't keep any servants. That wouldbe our own affair."" Emily !" The elder sister spoke imperatively. "You mustnot go to the door when the bell rings. That's Ellen's place.(54)
THE TALK OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD. 55She's hired for the purpose. You'll be taken for a hired girl.Can't you understand ?"Now that argument had its influence. To be taken for a hiredgirl Emily was silenced."I'm out of all patience with her !" said the elder sister, enter-ing the room where her father and mother were sitting, a fewmoments afterwards. She seemed particularly annoyed."With whom, Kate ?" asked the mother."Why, with Emily. She will persist in going to the door whenthe bell rings, just as though we hadn't three servants in thehouse."The father, a careworn-looking man, who sat reading themorning paper, let the sheet fall upon his knees, and turned hiseyes upon Emily. His brows contracted a little, and with apainful expression, while his thin lips shut themselves closer. Hemade no remark, however, though it was plain that his sympa-thies were not with his daughter Kate."I wish you'd speak to her about it," added the young lady,still addressing her mother. " We shall be the talk of the wholeneighborhood."If the ear and heart of Kate Hamilton had been open in theright direction, she would have heard the sigh that came faintlybreathing through her father's lips. If her eyes had been observant, she would have seen the deeper shade that fell over hiscountenance. His thought had gone back over many years, tothe time when his wife kept not even a single servant, and whenshe opened her own door to every one who chanced to call-to atime when his heart, free from oppressive cares and humiliatingembarrassments, beat rhythmically in his bosom, and his lips
56 THE TALK OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD.answered to his heart in song. There was no fine rhythm in hispulses now, and long ago music had died upon his lips."I don't see any harm in it," replied Mrs. Hamilton. " IfEmily chooses to open the door, and thus save Ellen a few steps,why should it trouble you so seriously ?""I don't want my sister to put herself on a level with servants;at least not in the face of the whole neighborhood," retortedKate, with an air of conscious self-importance.Mr. Hamilton threw his newspaper on the centre-table, andrising, left the room without a remark. While drawing on hisovercoat in the hall, preparatory to going forth on the day'sdreaded business, Emily came out of the parlor, and placing herhand upon him in a fond, familiar way, said:" What harm is there in my going to the door when the bellrings?"" None, dear, that I can see," replied Mr. Hamilton."Kate thinks it dreadful.""Does she?""Yes, and says if I go to the door, we'll be the talk of thewhole neighborhood.""If the neighborhood finds nothing more serious to talk about,Emily, no injury will be done. But why are you so anxiousabout going to the door when the bell rings ?""I'm not anxious about it, father," replied the girl. "Justnow I went to the door because I happened to be in the parlor,while Ellen was in the third story. What would have been theuse of bringing her all the way down stairs, when I could step tothe door in a moment ?"
THE TALK OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD. 57"True enough," said Mr. Hamilton. " What would have beenthe use of it ?""Then," added Emily, "it takes a long time to get to thedoor when Ellen happens to be at work up stairs, and personswho ring have to wait. I can't sit still in the parlor, if I amthere, until a servant comes. I must go to the door. As to theharm, I am too dull to see it.""And I hope you'll always remain too dull," answered herfather. As he said this the bell rang loudly. Some one hadgiven it a vigorous jerk." Shall I open the door ?" Emily was already on tip-toe." Certainly."She came back with a letter. Mr. Hamilton took it from herhand, and broke the seal in evident nervousness. Letters left forhim at his dwelling had come to be, in most cases, unpleasantvisitors.An exclamation of surprise and pain fell from the lips of Mr.Hamilton, as his eyes glanced over the long, narrow slip ofpaper, which the envelope had covered. Then he refolded thepaper, and thrust it into his pocket in a half desperate, half des-pairing way." "What is it, father ?" Emily drew her hands through his arm,and looked up anxiously into his face."Nothing that you can help, dear," replied the father, endeav-oring to rally himself, and assume an indifference which he didnot feel. Then he kissed her, and went hastily out, to flounderthrough the day's dreaded business. We say "flounder through,"for Mr. Hamilton was in embarrassed circumstances. In themorning, when he went forth to business, it was not often that he
58 THE TALK OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD.knew where the money to meet the day's payments was to comefrom, and usually one-third of his time was spent in borrowing, orseeking discounts. The bill just received was from a jeweller, towhom he had given his two oldest daughters, Isabel and Kate,permission to go for a few articles, and they had, in the courseof six months, run up an account of nearly two hundred dollars.No wonder that its receipt by Mr. Hamilton occasioned an ejacu-lation of surprise and pain. What hope was there of releasefrom embarrassment, under the steadily accumulating pressure ofdebts like this ? It was only on the day before that a dry goodsbill of three hundred dollars had given him a shock, from whichhis nerves yet had a low, sickening quiver. Like a man strug-gling in deep water, he felt that even the smallest additionalburden laid upon his shoulders must bear him under." What are you doing here, with the windows stretched wideopen?" interrogated Kate, half an hour after her father wentout. She had come into the parlor, where Emily was movingabout briskly, with a duster in her hand. Comprehending at aglance the work in which her sister was engaged, Kate's firstmovement was to draw down the sashes and close the curtains.Then, with considerable asperity of tone, she said :" Are you going crazy ? Who told you to dust the parlor ?"Emily's face grew warm, and she answered, with some spirit,as she crossed the room and drew back the curtains which hersister had closed:"Pray cease your interference with me, Kate. It isn'tagreeable. If I choose to dust the parlors or sweep off thepavements, I shall not pause to ask your permission.""Do you wish to pass for a servant ?" Kate had moved back
THE TALK OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD. 59instinctively as the curtains were swept broadly aside by Emily,so that she might not be seen from the street, and now stood inthe hall." Are none but servants usefully employed ?" asked Emily, inresponse." Oh, dear! You are incorrigible! We shall be the talk ofthe whole neighborhood before long! What has possessed you?Do come out of the parlor, and let Ellen dust and put things torights." Kate spoke in a weak, troubled, and complaining voice.The resolute manner of her sister was disheartening."Ellen has enough to do up stairs," was Emily's reply, as sheturned from her sister and went on with the work of dusting andrubbing the furniture, the exercise of which sent the blood inbeauty to her cheeks. Hopeless of influencing the wilful girl,Kate was on her way up stairs with the purpose of appealing toher mother, when she heard the bell ring. The sound arrestedher steps. Would Emily go to the door? Scarcely had thequestion formed itself in her thought, when she saw Emily emergefrom the parlor, duster in hand."Emily!" she called, in a low, warning voice.But Emily, giving no heed to her sister, opened the door. Arough man, with cold, hard features, looked steadily into her facefor a moment or two, and then drawing from his pocket a foldedpaper, said:"Be sure that you give this to Mr. Hamilton."Something in his look and tone chilled her. She felt that, insome way unknown to her, this man had an evil power over herfather."What is it ?" she asked, as the color left her cheeks.
60 THE TALK OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD." It is a summons," answered the man."A summons!" and she stepped back, shutting the dooralmost in his face."Who was it?" asked Kate, calling down from her position onthe stairs."A man to see father," replied Emily, as she glided into theparlor, where she sat down, trembling. Kate went up stairs toremonstrate with her mother against the right of Emily to com-promise the family dignity, while Emily unfolded the paper justreceived at the door, and sought to explore its meaning. It wasan ordinary sheriff's writ, or summons, giving legal notificationthat an action for debt had been commenced against NMr. Hamil-ton by some creditor whose patience was exhausted; but poorEmily explored its written and printed sentences, and its mysticphraseology, for some clear meaning, in vain."We shall be the talk of the whole neighborhood, mother."These words, spoken on the stairs, and accompanied by the soundof feet, caused Emily to rise and thrust the summons into herpocket. As she did so, her mother and Kate appeared at thedoor."There is no need of your doing this," said Mrs. Hamilton,kindly. "Ellen will soon be done in the chambers. But whatis the matter, dear?" The mother's voice changed, for she sawthat Emily's face was pale and troubled.Emily, not yet clear in her own mind as to what was best tobe done in regard to the summons, evaded the question of hermother, and turning aside, commenced rubbing the piano, saying,as she did so-" I like the exercise. It's good for me."
THE TALK OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD. 61Now, that was a reason against which Mrs. Hamilton had nota word to say."You'd better wash and iron," said Kate, with asperity, " ifexercise is what you want."Emily did not reply, but went on rubbing and dusting thepiano."I wouldn't go to the door," suggested Mrs. Hamilton. " Thatis Ellen's duty. She's hired for the purpose. And your goingso often annoys your sisters. They don't regard it as genteel.People are so observant, and we must act with some regard topublic sentiment.""This was left at the door just now," said Emily, acting fromthe moment's impulse, as she drew the summons from her pocket,and handed it to her mother.Mrs. Hamilton unfolded the paper in a hurried manner, andturned pale as she glanced at the contents."What is it ?" asked Kate."Something for your father," replied Mrs. Hamilton, in asubdued voice, as she went from the room. Kate stood a fewmoments, and then followed, leaving Emily without further inter-ference.Two hours later in the day, Kate and her sister Isabel, twoshowy girls, draped in a costly and attractive manner, went forthto exhibit themselves and win admiration. They did not fail towin attention; as to the admiration, we cannot speak with assur-ance. After promenading for an hour, they stepped into thestore of a jeweller-the same who had, on that very morning,furnished their father with a long bill. Heretofore the jeweller
62 THE TALK OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD.had been exceedingly polite, and anxious to have them purchase;but he seemed rather indifferent on this occasion, and displayedhis goods, as asked for, in almost total silence. Both Kate andher sister felt this change; but not the remotest suspicion of thecause entered their mind." Isn't this elegant?" said Kate, taking up an opal ring."Beautiful," replied Isabel."What is the price ?" asked Kate."Twenty dollars," answered the jeweller, reaching out hishand to take the ring. But Kate slipped it on her finger, andgazed, almost like one fascinated, into the flame that quiveredin the heart of the gem." I must have an opal," she said. " And this is such a beauty.Twenty dollars ?"" That is the price, miss," answered the jeweller, but so coldlythat Kate looked up into his face."It's a very fine stone.""Yes, miss, for a small opal, one of the finest I have seen."" Charge it to father," said Kate. But the jeweller answered-"Hadn't you better ask your father before buying so costly aring?""Ask my father?" Blood came reddening into Kate's face.The jeweller bowed, gravely, and held out his hand for theopal, which, hurriedly drawing from her finger, Kate restored tohis possession. Another customer entering at the moment, thejeweller turned from the two surprised young ladies, who left thestore hastily." He acted very strangely," said Kate, as they passed to thestreet. "I wonder what he meant ?"
THE TALK OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD. 63" Can father have been saying anything to him ?"" Of course not. He wouldn't disgrace himself and us in thatway. It was downright insulting! Mr. K- will see no moreof our money.""Indeed he will not! I never was so mortified in my life !"So the sisters talked over the humiliating incident, which thereader understands better than they did. After walking a fewsquares, they went into a dry goods store, where they were inthe habit of making purchases. Here each selected an elegantnew style silk dress, and ordered it sent to the mantuamaker's."Wait a moment," said the polite clerk, who had shown themthe goods; and he stepped across the store to where one of theproprietors was standing. Their experience at the jeweller'smade the two young ladies feel a little dashed and nervous at thismovement, and their eyes followed the clerk, and took note ofthe knitted brows and earnest manner of his principal. In alittle while the clerk came back, and with a smile that was evi-dently enforced, and an embarrassment of manner which couldnot be hidden, said-" We should prefer not cutting these goods for you to-day, ifyou will excuse us."" Oh, just as you like !" Kate tossed her head a little proudly;but the arrow had gone to her heart. A few minutes the sisterslingered, and then, with a crest-fallen air that could not be veiledover, went quietly from the store.This shock considerably agitated their nerves, and led them toseek refuge and refreshment in a ladies' restaurant. As theyentered one of the rooms, they noticed a party of three young
64 THE TALK OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD.ladies at a table, who eyed them closely. From this room theypassed into one adjoining, and seated themselves at the extremeend; but not liking the position, came back to a table near theentrance, across which a Venetian screen was placed. Thisbrought them very close to the party of young ladies we havementioned, and within hearing distance, though concealed fromthem." They're the talk of the whole neighborhood." Scarcelywere they seated before this sentence pricked their ears." On what account?" was asked."Oh, on various accounts; mainly for their silly pride andflaunting airs. You saw how they were over-dressed, and howqueenly they tried to walk-as if the ground they trod on wasscarcely good enough for their dainty feet.""Yes-I noticed that. But I suppose their father has a deeppurse, and wealth turns the heads of some people."" There lies the poor folly of the whole thing," answered theother speaker. " So far from being a rich man, the father isover head and ears in debt, and worried half out of his life tomake his payments and keep above water. My brother knowsall about his business affairs, and says it's a disgrace for hisdaughters to add the heavy burden they must be adding to thebent shoulders of so kind-hearted a man. Proud, idle good-for-nothings he calls them. He took a fancy to one of them; butsoon comprehending her quality, turned away in disgust. Thefamily is in debt everywhere. Our dressmaker told me last weekthat they owe her nearly sixty dollars, and that she has sent for themoney over and over again. And I know they have a large unpaid
THE TALK OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD. 65bill at a jeweller's. The grocer and provision dealer in our neigh-borhood both say that it is almost impossible to get an accountsettled. And yet these idle girls sweep about in rich attire, asthough they were the daughters of a prince.""I don't wonder they are the talk of the neighborhood," wasreplied to this."And they keep three servants, forsooth," went on the other." The neighbors think it would be more creditable for them tokeep but one-and honester into the bargain.""How many sisters are there ?""Three.""All alike?""No. The youngest is wholly different from the two you sawjust now. She's a sensible girl, and worth a score of her good-for-nothing sisters. But, here are, our oysters-a more interest-ing subject for discussion."And the conversation ceased.The talk of the whole neighborhood! Even so Full twoweeks passed before Kate and her sister were again seen abroad,and then so great was the change in their attire and manner,that many people who knew them questioned each other as to itsmeaning. During these two weeks other scales had dropped fromtheir eyes. So stern was the pressure of embarrassment upontheir father, that he had been forced to yield and ask relief fromcreditors, and all men knew him as a broken merchant.Necessity cannot stand to parley with circumstances-it doesnot give way to pride. Mr. Hamilton, swept to the wall, wascompelled to demand of his family a different style of living.4
66 THE TALK OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD.Three servants gave place to one; and idle daughters had, underconstraint, to assume their places, and become the talk of theneighborhood. To them the fact involved deep humiliation. But,how did the neighbors talk? In many ways; yet, chiefly, intenor like this-" I didn't think it was in them." So a lady opposite remarkedto a friend who lived next door."Nor I," was answered. "Kate, in particular, had such aproud, dashing air, and was so vain and idle, that I never couldhave believed it possible for her to make a sensible woman. Butshe has promptly accommodated herself to her father's changedcircumstances. They've sent away all their servants, I am told.""All but the cook.""And the girls do the housework?""Yes.""A fact more creditable to them than idle dependence on theirfather."" A thousand times more creditable. Do you know I've feltan utter contempt for these girls ? But now respect comes invo-luntarily."" Just what Mrs. Lee said to me this morning."" Misfortune is the only means of salvation for some people.""It is the only thing," replied the neighbor, " that would havesaved the daughters of Mr. Hamilton. I've never called uponthem, but shall do so now."So the neighbors talked, as neighbors who are very apt to lookpast the outward seeming to the real character, will talk. Prideand pretence cannot hang up a veil thick enough to conceal thetruth; and mock gentility is sure to be detected and despised.
WINGS."IF I only had wings like you!" said Addie Lewis, speakingto her pet bird as she opened the cage door." Chirp, chirp !" answered the bird, flying out and resting onAddie's finger."Ah, birdie, if I only had your wings!""Wings!" spoke out Addie's mother. "You have wings,"she said, in a quiet way.Addie looked at her shoulders and then at her mother's."I don't see them," she said, with a little amused laugh."We are using them all the while," said Mrs. Lewis. "Didyou never hear of the wings of thought ?""Oh! That's what you mean? Our thoughts are our wings ?""Yes; and our minds can fly with these wings higher andfarther than any bird can go. If I read to you about a volcanoin Italy, off you go on the wings of thought and look down intothe fiery crater. If I tell you of the frozen North, you arethere in an instant, gazing upon icy seas and the wonders of adesolate region. The wings of an eagle are not half so swift andstrong as the wings of your thought. The very king of birdswould perish in regions where they can take you in safety."(67)
ONE ANGRY MOMENT."No," said Mr. Bray, looking up from the newspaper he wasreading, and speaking with unusual sharpness of tone.A young man, one of his clerks, stood before him." Do you understand me? No-I said no Send Mr. Carl-ton word that I neither borrow nor lend."The clerk had hesitated about sending back the rough refusalof Mr. Bray to accommodate a neighbor with a loan of a coupleof hundred dollars, within an hour of bank closing, even on theexplanation that he was "short on a note." But, at thisemphatic confirmation of the first refusal, he turned from hisemployer, and went forward to where the messenger of Mr.Carlton awaited an answer."I'm tired of this eternal borrowing," said Mr. Bray tohimself, in justification of his angry refusal to accommodate aneighbor. "Why don't he make timely provision for his notesas I do, and not go money-hunting at the eleventh hour ? I'mnot going to reduce my bank balance to meet his careless deficien-cies. There is too much of this idle dependence among tradersto suit my notions of things."(68)
ONE ANGRY MOMENT. 69But these words of justification did not bring the mind of Mr.Bray into a state of calm self-satisfaction. Reason did notapprove his hastily uttered denial; and self-respect was hurtby this sudden ebullition of anger." Send Mr. Carlton word that I neither borrow nor lend.""I needn't have just said that!" Mr. Bray was already in arepentant mood. "I could have refused on any decent pretext.There was no call for an insulting denial."Ah, me! How blinding is sudden anger! For awhile, Mr.Bray sat communing with himself, and then taking up his pendrew a check for two hundred dollars. Calling to his clerk hesaid-" Here, Thomas, run in with this to Mr. Carlton."The young man took the check and went out hurriedly. Hecame back in a few minutes with the check still in his hand."Why didn't he take it ?" asked Mr. Bray, his face deepeningin color as he put the question." He said he was much obliged to you, but Mr. Agnew hadaccommodated him."Mr. Bray, in a very quiet manner, tore the check into smallfragments. He felt badly. Mr. Agnew had the reputation ofbeing the roughest, most unaccommodating man in the neighbor-hood; while he took pride in the thought of being held in verydifferent estimation. Even Mr. Agnew had exceeded him inamiable compliance and prompt business courtesy! He feltrebuked and humbled." Oh, dear! I wish I had a little decent self-control !" he said,
70 ONE ANGRY MOMENT.sharply to himself. " This quick feeling, and hasty action there-from, are always getting me into some kind of trouble."As Mr. Bray walked homeward, after leaving his store thatafternoon, he saw Mr. Carlton approaching at the distance ofhalf a block ahead of him. He was conveniently near the cornerof a street, and so taking the flag-stones, he crossed over, andthus avoided meeting his neighbor."I don't like this," he said in some humiliation to himself, ashe breathed a little more freely. " Skulking like a criminal don'tsuit me at all! Why should I fear to look any man in theface ?"Mr. Bray was usually a cheerful man at home; though hesometimes darkened the home-light for a season, through fits ofsudden anger that soon subsided. But even the briefly rulingtempest leaves, usually, some mighty traces of' its course thatrequire many days of sunshine, gentle rains, and refreshing dewsto obliterate. It was so with the tempest of Mr. Bray's too easilyawakened anger. It never darkened the sky, nor swept fiercelyalong the earth, without leaving its ugly marks behind.But, usually, he was cheerful in his family, bringing home withhim the bright, warm sunshine. It was not so, however, on thepresent occasion. This little act of discourtesy to Mr. Carlton,had not only shadowed his feelings, but left his mind disturbed.He was just in a state to be annoyed by the merest trifles.Two little boys were playing in the passage as he came.in fromthe street. At the very moment of his entrance one of them hurtthe other by accident. The latter screamed out, and, under thepassionate impulse of the moment, charged his brother with
ONE ANGRY MOMENT. 71striking him. In a different state of mind Mr. Bray would havetried a little moral suasion in the case, or, at least, withheldpunishment until he saw clearly that duty to his child requiredits administration. But now, obeying an unhappy impulse, hecaught up the child who was charged with the offence of striking,and punished him with smarting strokes. At the moment of hisdoing so the mother of the children, who had seen all that passedbetween them, called out earnestly-"Stop! stop, Henry He didn't strike his brother on pur-pose. It was all an accident!"But this appeal came too late. The wrong had been done."It's a shame !" said the mother, who felt every painful blowthe child had received, and who spoke from the moment's indig-nant impulse.Mr. Bray did not feel any better. Setting the child downwithout venturing a reply to his wife's remark, he strode upstairs to the sitting-room, and threw himself into the great arm-chair. No one ventured to come near him for some time; so hehad fair opportunity for self-communion. At last, a toddlinglittle curly-head, who generally hailed her father's return withjoy, came sideling into the room, and with a half timid air madeher way, by almost stealthy approaches, to the side of the moodyman. Curiously she lifted her eyes to his clouded countenance;stood for a moment or two, as if in doubt, and then clambered upand laid her golden tresses against his bosom. As she did so, thefather's arm was drawn around her. But little curly-head wasnot, in her unselfish innocence, content with the sunshine of favorfor herself alone.
72 ONE ANGRY MOMENT." Papa !" Her voice had in it something of doubt."What is it, my little pet ?" And Mr. Bray, who was pene-trated by the child's sphere of tenderness, kissed her purelips."Willy didn't hurt Eddy a-purpose. He didn't strike him.""But Eddy said that Willy struck him." The father soughtto justify himself in the eyes of his child."Eddy only thought so," replied little curly-head. "Willydidn't strike him at all."Mr. Bray said nothing more; but he felt very uncomfortable.When the tea-bell rung, he went, with little curly-head, to thedining-room. All the rest of the family had kept away from him.Mrs. Bray looked particularly sober; and Willy, who had beenset all right as to his conduct by his mother's declaration that hehad not been guilty of striking, put on, to the life, an air ofinjured innocence. Mr. Bray did not speak once during themeal, but sat in silence, with a heavily clouded brow.For that evening the accustomed pleasant talks, cheerful, smil-ing faces, and merry laughter, were banished from the home ofMr. Henry Bray. A single moment of anger had done thisunhappy work. It was something better at the family reunionon the next morning. Sleep had wrought its usual work of re-storing the mind to its better states, and calming its pulses to aneven beat.As Mr. Bray left his house something earlier than usual, andwas walking along with his eyes cast down, thinking over certainmatters of business that would require his attention, a man cameto his side, and, in a pleasant voice, said-
ONE ANGRY MOMENT. 73" Good-morning, Mr. Bray !"The merchant glanced up, with a heightening color, into the faceof this person who had overtaken him in his rather deliberatewalk. He knew the voice. It was that of Mr. Carlton." Good-morning." The response was not hearty. How couldit be?"I was sorry to trouble you, yesterday," said Mr. Carlton,speaking in a frank, cheerful way. "But a friend, to whom Ihad loaned a sum of money, disappointed me at the last moment,and I was compelled to borrow at an unseasonable hour. Yourkind effort to serve me was none the less appreciated because Ihad no need for the check when you were so obliging as to sendit in. Mr. Agnew had already supplied my trifling deficiency."Now, what answer could Mr. Bray make to this? Was Mr.Carlton actually in earnest? Was he really so dull as not tohave appreciated his rough, insulting message of the day before ?Or, was this courteous acknowledgment of an almost extortedfavor a rebuking piece of irony ?" It would have gratified me if you had used the check," repliedMr. Bray, his voice a little below its usual firmness of tone. " Itwas tendered in all sincerity.""I never doubted that for an instant," said Mr. Carlton, as ifsurprised that his neighbor should intimate, even remotely, aquestion of his right appreciation of the favor. Mr. Bray's repu-tation as a courteous, gentlemanly merchant, and a kind-heartedman, forbid any other inference.Now this, Mr. Bray felt, was crowding him a little too hard;and he was considerably annoyed. "Tell Mr. Carlton that I
74 ONE ANGRY MOMENT.neither borrow nor lend." Could he forget that rough answer tohis neighbor's request for a couple of hundred dollars, at a latehour in the day, when his bank account was still short ? No. Hecould not forget it; and that neighbor's compliments upon hismercantile and manly virtue, sounded too much like covert rebuketo be in the smallest measure agreeable. So he changed thesubject by referring to some general topic, and managed to appearinterested, until, their ways diverging, they parted with courteousforms of speech."I don't like that," said Mr. Bray to himself, as he walked onalone. "All this is mere hypocritical assumption; and, underthe circumstances, I can scarcely regard it as less than insulting;and if he talks again to me after this fashion, I will tell him so."The opportunity soon occurred. It was, perhaps, about twelve,when the merchant saw Mr. Carlton enter his store, and comeback to where he was sitting at his desk. There was a familiarsmile upon his countenance, and he looked altogether self-pos-sessed." Good-morning again," said he, with much apparent franknessof manner."Good-morning." Mr. Bray tried to look pleasant, and triedto assume a perfectly composed exterior, but the elements ofexcitement were moving within him. There was always a pointbeyond which self-control was impossible, and he felt that Mr.Carlton was pressing him beyond that point. In his uncourteousrefusal to lend him two hundred dollars he had done wrong; butto the best of his ability he had endeavored to repair that wrong,and Mr. Carlton should have accepted his tender of repentance,
ONE ANGRY MOMENT. 75and not insulted him by throwing Mr. Agnew in his face alongwith his rejected loan. Mr. Agnew! Known throughout thetrade as one of the most uncourteous and disobliging of men!In that act he had given a sufficient rebuke; and there, in Mr.Bray's opinion, he should be willing to let the matter rest.But it seemed that Mr. Carlton felt differently, as he had shownin his ironical reference to the matter at their meeting on thestreet; and it was plain to Mr. Bray, from the manner of hisneighbor, that he had come to annoy him again with some refer-ence to a circumstance that he desired to forget as quickly aspossible. He was not altogether mistaken. Following the " good-morning again," of Mr. Carlton, succeeded this sentence, asspoken with all the cheerful frankness of a man in earnest."Your kindness yesterday makes me a little presuming to-day.I will take that check now if you have it to spare. My friendhas disappointed me again, and I have several payments tomake."The smile had faded from Mr. Carlton's face ere this sentencewas finished, for, instead of meeting a countenance of kind com-pliance-stern, almost flashing eyes, looked steadily into his, andcompressed lips gave warning of a refusal." There has been enough of this already !" said Mr. Bray, withrepressed excitement."Enough of what ?" Mr. Carlton looked surprised."Enough of insulting reference to my act of yesterday!"answered Mr. Bray."Insulting! What do you mean?" And Mr. Carlton drewhimself up and looked quite as indignant as his neighbor.
76 ONE ANGRY MOMENT."My words are very plain. You understand the king's Eng-lish, I presume?""I had supposed so. But yours is a dialect with which I amnot familiar, and I must beg you to supply the glossary.""Let me do that," said the clerk of Mr. Bray, stepping for-ward at this juncture." Do so, if you please, and I will be a thousand times obliged."And Mr. Carlton moved back a pace or two, awaiting the clerk'sexplanation."Permit me ?-" the clerk looked at Mr. Bray." Say on, Thomas," was answered." When Mr. Carlton sent in for the two hundred dollars yes-terday you were annoyed about something, and returned rather anuncourteous refusal-one altogether so unlike yourself that I couldnot do you the injustice of letting it pass to our neighbor unquali-fied. So I softened the refusal, to make it sound as much like aregret for not complying as I possibly could. I knew that youwould think and feel differently in a few moments, and I was notmistaken, as the offered check proved. That is the glossary, Mr.Carlton, which you asked, and I trust that it will make all clear.Did I do right, or wrong, Mr. Bray?"The young man turned, with a half-timid look, to his ratherpassionate employer, whose moods were of so uncertain a characterthat it was hard to calculate the direction of their impulse. Amoment of silence passed, and then Mr. Bray said, withfeeling-"Right, Thomas, right! And I thank you for such judiciousconduct."
ONE ANGRY MOMENT. 77The young man bowed, and retired to wait upon a customer.For a little while the two men stood looking at each other, each soimpressed with a sense of the ludicrous that the muscles of risi-bility were all in play."You have the glossary," said Mr. Bray at length, a broadsmile covering his face." Giving the clearest meaning to your words, a moment ago sofull of mystery," was answered, with as broad a smile in return." Youwon't refuse my check, I presume," and Mr. Bray turnedto his desk."Just try me," said Mr. Carlton, in a voice that left no doubtof his meaning."Will two hundred be sufficient ?""You can make it three, if you are over to-day.""Three hundred it is, Mr. Carlton," said the merchant, thethermometer of whose feelings had risen from zero to summerheat; "and whenever I can accommodate you in matters of thiskind, don't fail to command me. If, as it may happen sometimes,I should be a little unamiable, my clerk there will act as a cush-ion, and prevent you feeling the shock of my temporary ill-nature.I didn't know, before, that I had so discreet an assistant."There was a warmer atmosphere in the home of Mr. Bray onthe evening that succeeded this rather clouded morning, than onthe one which preceded, when the shadow of a single angry mo-ment was large and dense enough to cover the whole householdwith a leaden pall. Little curly-head leaped into her father'sarms almost upon the instant of his return, and hugged him withall the outgushing love of her innocent heart; and Eddy and
78 ONE ANGRY MOMENT.Willy, the trouble of the past evening forgotten, were ready fortheir game of romps, and enjoyed it to their heart's content.The mother, too, was smiling and happy. That evening wasmarked as one of the green places in their home-life; and, butfor the impulsive act of a single angry moment, the previousevening would have left with every heart as sweet a remem-brance.
THESE ARE MY SONS.THERE came daily, to one of the government hospitals in St.Louis, a lady, whose tender care of the sick and wounded soldiersattracted observation. She was known as the wife of a citizen,and as an educated woman, who moved in refined society. Beforethe war commenced, she was among the most cheerful and com-panionable in a large circle of friends. All the elements of lifewere in harmony. But, very soon after the mad assault ofcorrupt men upon their government, Mrs. G--'s whole demeanorchanged. Friends wondered, and asked for the cause. But shewas silent. She went no more into society, but held herself awayfrom public observation-shutting herself up, for most of thetime, in her own house.Conjecture was of course busy, and many theories to cover thecase were advanced and admitted-some near the truth, perhaps,but nearly all remote therefrom. The change in her manner andstate of mind was complete; the warm, bright sunshine hadpassed, and she was under the shadow of heavy clouds. All thiswas the more remarkable, in view of the fact that Mrs. G-was known as a woman of cheerful, reactive disposition; of clear,(79)
80 THESE ARE MY SONS.common-sense thought, and of large self-controlling power.Whatever trouble might come, her friends had faith in her abilityto meet it with the calmness and dignity of a superior mind.Was it possible that a public calamity had been felt in her indi-vidual life so keenly?Whatever the cause, Mrs. G-- did not rise above it. Shewas present no more in the circles to which she had always lent acharm. Occasionally an old acquaintance would see her on thestreet, but with a manner so changed and subdued that she wasscarcely recognised. The Sabbath always found her in church,sitting with bowed head, an absorbed and fervent worshipper;and as she moved down the aisle, after service had closed, andout from the portico amid the crowd, instinctive delicacy in theminds of a large number of old friends let her pass without intru-sion.Thus it was with Mrs. G- when disease, in league withbullet, cannon-ball and bursting shell, began to crowd thehospitals of St. Louis with sick and wounded men, thus bringinginto the very heart of a city peaceful and prosperous a fewmonths before, the ghastly fruit of treason. Among the earliestto enroll herself in the common sisterhood of charity was Mrs.G--. Almost on the very day that the first wounded menarrived, she presented herself at one of the hospitals, andclaimed a woman's privilege of ministering to pain. Her carewas less for the sick than for the wounded, and less for strongmen than for youth-tender boys, who had felt the kindling firesof patriotism, and gone forth in arms to meet the foes of freedomand law. Towards these she displayed all the interest and com-
THESE ARE MY SONS. 81passionate care of a mother, ministering to the mind and heart aswell as to the suffering body. It was remarkable how completelyher life came down into this work, and how soon duty was absorbedby love.Among those who were brought in from one of the many battle-fields of Missouri, were three young men, the oldest not overtwenty-two. One of them had lost an arm; one had his rightknee shattered by the fragment of a shell; and the other hadreceived three bullets in his body. They were laid on three beds,standing side by side, and the first woman's face that lookeddown in pity upon their pale suffering faces was that of Mrs.G---. The first sound, so full of home and love-so soft andsweet to their ears, and like the voice of a mother, was the voiceof Mrs. G- Do we wonder that, as their eyes looked up tohers, they grew blinded by tears ?Mrs. G- did not leave them when the surgeon came. Thesight of his instruments pressed the blood back upon her heart,and she grew faint; but the eyes of a fair-haired stripling, whosehurt gaze turned from the knife and probe, and reached upwardstowards her, like clinging hands, held her to the post of duty, andcompassion gave new life to her heart, so that all its pulses werestrong again. The surgeon's best assistant, through all the pain-ful work that had in mercy to be done upon the bodies of theseyoung men, was Mrs. G- ; and their best strength came fromher tender eyes and maternal voice. She was an angel to them,and thankful love filled their hearts and shone from their facesin the calm and ease and rest that followed the torture; andnot only filled their hearts and shone from their faces, but5
82 THESE ARE MY SONS.awakened by its ardor the purest and truest of all loves in herheart-a mother's love.She did not leave them through the feverish night that followed,and only returned to her home in the gray morning, that brokeupon her self-imposed vigils. Nature demanded rest. Mrs.G- was more exhausted than she had yet been. It was notso much the night-watch that left her weak and with jarrednerves; feeling had been awakened into too strong a life, andburned with too consuming an intensity. It was late in theafternoon when Mrs. G-- returned to the hospital. Her firstvisit was to the three young men with whom she had passed thenight. They received her with grateful eyes and welcomingsmiles. Something about them touched her more deeply thanshe had been touched by anything which she had seen during herwalks of mercy amid sick, and wounded, and dying men. Sittingdown, she talked first with one, and then with another, aboutthemselves and their homes. One had a mother, in far awayNew England, and his lashes lay wet on his cheeks as he spokeof her." She loves her country, and has given three sons for itsdefence," he said; and in pride of such a mother his heart beatquicker, and sent the flushing blood to his pale face. ".I willnot tell her how badly I am hurt," he continued, "she shall onlyknow of that when I am well again. But she shall know of yourkindness, dear lady My first letter will tell her of that."" Happy mother, to have brave and loyal sons in a time likethis !" answered Mrs. G-, her voice losing its firm tones, andsinking to a sad expression.
THESE ARE MY SONS. 83"Have you no son to give to your country ?" asked the fair-haired stripling, whose head had rested, a few hours before,against her bosom, while the knife and probe were making himsick with agony." I will call you my son," was replied, after a brief silence.Mrs. G- 's voice was in a lower key, but calm and steady.She seemed to have encountered a strong wave of feeling, thatmade all the timbers in her vessel of life shudder; but the strokehad proved harmless, and she was herself again. " And you aremy sons also," she added, almost proudly, as she looked upon theothers. "Worthy sons! I will give you a mother's care!"There entered, at this moment, two men, carrying a litter, onwhich a man was lying. A surgeon and nurse were in attend-ance. The large room was full of beds, and on one of these theman, who moaned in a low, plaintive voice, was placed. Mrs.G- did not stir from where she sat by the young soldier.Scenes like this were of almost daily occurrence, and did notdisturb the order or duties of the institution."A wounded rebel," said the nurse, who had come in with thelitter. She had crossed the room to Mrs. G- whispered thesentence, and then moved back again. She did not know what athrill of pain her brief sentence had awakened.A wounded rebel! The very bullet that shattered the bone,and rent the sensitive flesh of the loyal youth over whose couchshe sat, might have been sent on its cruel mission by his hands.Yet was he now brought in, carefully to be ministered to insuffering, and saved perhaps from death. This was the verythought that flashed through the mind of Mrs. G-- as the
84 THESE ARE MY SONS.thrill of pain which the announcement occasioned went tremblingaway into stillness.The moans of the wounded man soon died away. He had firstbeen taken to the surgeon's apartments, and after the abstractionof a ball, the passage of which had been more painful than dan-gerous, removed under the charge of a nurse to the room wherehe now rested.Mrs. G--'s interest in the three young men, who were nowspecially in her charge, found no abatement, but rather increase.In brief conversations with each of them, she gathered little factsand incidents, and sentiments, that expressed the quality of theirlives, of a character still further to interest her feelings. Eachhad been tenderly cared for in early years, and each was loyal,as well to all home memories as to the country he had gone forthto serve, bearing his life in his hands.It was nearly an hour after the wounded rebel was brought in,when a nurse, crossing from a distant part where he lay, came toMrs. G-, who was assisting the surgeon to dress the shatteredlimb of one of the young men under her care, and stooping down,said to her, with suppressed agitation:" It is your son, madam!""Who! Where!" The color went out of Mrs. G- 'sface."The man who was last brought in.""My son ?""Yes, ma'am. He says he is your son. Won't you come overto him ? He wants you."Mrs. G- caught her breath with a gasp. But, gaining self-
THESE ARE MY SONS. 85possession, she answered with a calm eloquence of tone that wasfull of heroism, " These are my sons !"For an instant, she looked proudly from face to face of thethree wounded soldiers, and then bent over the task in which shewas engaged. Her hand showed no tremors, as she wound thelong bandages about the tender limb, and in every minutiaeobeyed the surgeon's direction. When the painful work was done,she wiped from the sufferer's pale forehead the clammy sweat thatcovered it, and laid her hand softly upon his temples, smoothingback the damp hair. No mother's hand had in it ever a tenderertouch.For a minute the surgeon drew her aside, and they stood inearnest conversation; then he moved away, and Mrs. G-resumed her place. Not long afterwards, the rebel soldier whohad been brought in was carried out again, the men who bore thelitter almost touching Mrs. G- as they passed. But she didnot stir, or look around. One, two, three hours, and she was stillin the hospital; but her loyal heroic heart had taken up a bur-den that no true mother's heart has strength to bear. Thesurgeon, who comprehended the case, was watching her withintense interest. He saw, with eyes that could read signs whichothers might not understand, the gradual failing of power tosustain herself in this self-imposed ordeal, and more than onceoffered gentle remonstrances, which she failed to heed. But allthings yield, when pressure is in excess of strength. Three hoursafter her wounded rebel son had been removed, by her order,with a nurse in attendance, to the home he had dishonored, Mrs.G-- was carried thither insensible, having swooned from
86 THESE ARE MY SONS.exhaustion of vital power in the unnatural conflict of mind towhich she had been subjected.On the day after, she was absent from the hospital; but on thethird day she came in again, paler, and to some eyes sadder, andagain ministered with loving care to the sons of her adoption.Our homely prose has failed to give in fitting words this trueand touching incident, worthy to be enshrined by some true poetin deathless numbers. It should not perish. Who will set it inthe jewels of song ?
THE VISIT TO GRANDFATHER'S.
THE VISIT TO GRANDFATHER'S.[See FRONTISPIECE.]WHAT a sweet, bright picture! How full of life, of tenderness,and love! Your heart warms as you look at the dear old grand-mother, and the happy children springing towards her-at thedelighted grandfather gazing upon the babe on his daughter'sarm, while he holds in both of his the hand he has grasped inloving welcome.I might talk to you of many things suggested by this beautifulpicture. But, I think, for each one of you, it will come with astory and a lesson speaking nearer to the heart than anythingI might be able to say. I am sure, if you have a grandfatherand a grandmother, you must love them, and count among yourgreatest pleasures a visit to their home. Their thought comesdown to you oftener, it may be, than your thought goes up tothem. Their love gathers about you-their hearts are full ofdesire for your well-being. Nothing makes them happier thanto hear of your right conduct-of your improvement at school-of the fair promise that you will become good and useful men andwomen. Dear children! Never rob them of so pure a pleasure.Never, by any wrong act, bring a cloud into their sky.(87)
DON'T."You are sober this evening," said Mrs. Landell to her hus-band. "I hope nothing has gone wrong during the day ?"Mr. Landell, who had been sitting, with his eyes upon the floor,silent and abstracted, for some minutes, roused himself at thesewords, and looking up at his wife, smiled, in a forced way, as heanswered-" Oh! no. Nothing has gone wrong.""Don't you feel well?" The voice of Mrs. Landell was justshaded with concern."Well enough in body; but not so comfortable in mind as Idesire."" Then something has gone wrong," said the wife. Her man-ner was slightly troubled."Nothing more than usual," Mr. Landell replied. The forcedsmile had faded away from his countenance. Mrs. Landell sighed."Than usual?" she repeated his words, looking with earnestinquiry into her husband's face. Then she added, tenderly-"Bring home your trouble, dear. Don't hide anything. Letme share with you all the good and ill of life. Hearts drawnearer in suffering than they do in joy.""Bless your kind heart, Alice!" said Mr. Landell, a broad(88)
DON'T. 89smile sweeping over his face, as he caught her round cheeks be-tween his hands, and kissed her. "There isn't anything in thecase so serious as all that comes to. I'm not going to fail inbusiness-haven't lost anything worth speaking about. Haven'tcheated anybody, and don't intend doing so. It's only this hasty,impulsive temper of mine that is all the while leading me to door say something that leaves a sting."The cloud passed from the face of Mrs. Landell."You will overcome that in time, Edward," said she, en-couragingly."I can't see that I make any progress. Yesterday I spokesharply to one of my young men, when a mild reproof wouldhave been juster, and of more salutary effect. He is sensitive,and my words hurt him severely. The shadow that remained onhis face all day was my perpetual rebuke, and I felt it long afterthe sun went down. My punishment was greater than his. Butthe lesson of yesterday did not suffice. This morning I was againbetrayed into captious language, that wounded the same youngman, and threw him so much off of his guard, that he answeredme back with some feeling. This I regarded as impertinence,and threatened to dismiss him from my service if he dared venturea repetition of his language. When feeling subsided, and thoughtbecame clear again, I saw that I had been wrong, and done wrong.And I have felt unhappy about it ever since. I wish that I hadmore self-control. That I could bridle my tongue when feelingis suddenly spurred. But temperament, and long-indulged habits,are both against me."
90 DON'T.Mrs. Landell encouraged and soothed her husband, and so wonhis mind away from its brooding self-reproaches.On the next morning, as Mr. Landell was about leaving forhis store, his wife looked up at him, and with a meaning smile,said-"Don't!"There was just the slightest perceptible warning in her tone."Don't what?" Mr. Landell seemed a little puzzled."Don't forget yourself.""Oh!" Light broke in upon his mind. "Thank you! Iwill not !" And he went forth to meet the trials of the day.Almost the first thing that fell under the notice of Mr. Landellwas an.important letter, which, after writing, he had given to aclerk to copy and mail. Instead of being in Boston, where itshould have been, it lay upon his desk. Neglect like that he feltto be unpardonable."John!" He called sharply to a young man at the furtherend of the store."Don't!" It seemed like the voice of his wife in his ears."Don't forget yourself!"This mental warning came just in season. The clerk camequickly towards him. By the time he reached the desk of Mr.Landell the latter was under self-control." Why was not this letter mailed, John ?" The tone was neitherimperative nor captious; but kind, and the question asked in away that said, Of course there is a good reason for the omission.And so there was.
DON'T. 91"I think, sir," answered John, "that there is a mistake, and Ithought it not best to put the letter in the mail.""A mistake? How ?" And Mr. Landell opened the letter."It reads," said the clerk, "three hundred cases of shawls."" Oh, no-thirty cases," replied Mr. Landell. But, as he saidthirty, his eyes rested on three hundred. "So it is! How couldI have made such an error? You were right, John, in not send-ing the letter away."The clerk went back to his place, and the merchant said tohimself, "How glad I am that I was able to control myself IfI had spoken to that young man as I felt, I would have wrongedand alienated him, and made trouble for myself all day."Not long after this, a case of goods fell through one of thehatchways, crashing down upon the landing with a noise thatcaused Mr. Landell, whose temperament was exceedingly nervous,to spring to his feet. To blame somebody was his first impulse."What careless fellow has done this ?" was on his tongue."Don't !" The inward monitor spoke in time. Mr. Landellshut his lips tightly, and kept silent until he could command him-self. He then calmly inquired into the cause of the accident,and found that special blame attached to no one. On openingthe case of goods, the damage was found to be trifling."Another conquest," said Mr. Landell, as he went back to hisdesk. " Self-control is easy enough, if the trial be made inearnest."A dozen times that day was the torch applied to Mr. Landell'squick temper, and as often was he in danger of blazing out. Buthe had begun right, and he kept on right, until the sun went
92 DON' T.down. And then he turned his steps homeward, feeling morecomfortable in mind than he had felt for many weeks. Therewas no shadow on his countenance when he met his wife, but smil-ing good humor."You said Don't !' as I left you this morning.""Well ?""And I didn't!""You are a hero," said Mrs. Landell, laughing."Not much of a one. The conquest was easy enough, whenI drew the sword in earnest.""And you feel better ?"" Oh, a thousand times. What a curse of one's life this quicktemperament is! I am ashamed of myself half-a-dozen times aday on an average. But I have made a good beginning, and Imean to keep on right until the end."" Don't!" said Mrs. Landell to her husband, as she parted withhim at the street door on the next morning."I won't," was the hearty answer. And he didn't, as thepleasant evening he passed with his wife at its close most clearlytestified.Reader, if you are quick-tempered-Don't!
,"dilT, n404THE UN~TWELCOM~aE GJTEST.
THE UNWELCOME GUEST.A CHILD sat eating his breakfast out in the open air, underthe ivy leaves that spread themselves among and above the door.A hungry hen, in search of something to eat for herself andchildren, made bold to intrude upon the child, and forcibly sharehis meal; but the child, small and weak as he was, resolutelyassaulted this unbidden and unwelcome guest, which had come tospoil him, and, with quick hard blows, drove her away.The artist who drew this picture has told us another story be-sides the one which meets our eye. Every outward thing, orcircumstance, if rightly considered, may become an instructor.What is the lesson here? Birds which are able to fly in the air,and so lift themselves above the earth, are like our thoughts.Now, there are good and evil thoughts, and when evil ones comeinto our minds, seeking to rob us of the good affections in whichwe have delight, they correspond to the assault of birds on theweak and helpless-as of eagles on lambs. In the case before us,the artist has represented hurtful thoughts under the guise of ahen searching after food, that we may be on our guard against(93)
94 THE UNWELCOME GUEST.seemingly innocent things in the mind that only wait for an op-portunity to harm us.We must be like this child on the instant we discover the realnature of intruding evil thoughts. We must assail them with avigorous rejection. We must drive them out of our minds, if wewould possess those good things of the heart-love, gentleness,and purity-on which the soul feeds, and by which it grows intoChristian strength and heavenly beauty.
MOTHER AND SON."HAS my John been here to-night ?" asked Mrs. Brown, asshe looked in, about nine o'clock, at one of her neighbor's."Yes. He was here just after supper, and he and Jim wentoff together."" Do you know where ?" asked Mrs. Brown, her voice unsteadyfrom the anxiety she felt." 0 dear! no," was the rather sharp reply of her neighbor,whose name was Mrs. Moyer. " It's more than I can do to keeprun of them. Jim's getting ahead of me. Boys are boys, andwill have their own way; and it's no use worrying about them.If they're going to turn out well, it'll all come right in the end;if not, nothing that we can do is going to help it."" No-no-no, Mrs. Moyer! Don't say that," spoke out Mrs.Brown warmly. " We can do almost everything with our childrenif we go right about it. We must watch over them, and keepthem, as far as we can, out of harm's way. We must teach themwhat is good, and try to make them afraid of all that is evil andwrong. Train up a child in the way he should go, and when heis old he will not depart from it,' says the good Book, and Ibelieve it."(95)
96 MOTHER AND SON." Maybe it's all so," answered Mrs. Moyer, showing some annoy-ance of manner; " but, as far as my experience goes, the old ladywho said, Train up a child, and away he will go,' had the righton't. As for my Jim, you might as well try to ride a colt as totrain him.""The wildest colts are broken," said Mrs. Brown." Boys are not colts," was sharply replied." Good-evening," said Mrs. Brown, who went home with ananxious heart. Her visit to Mrs. Moyer left that person in anirritated frame of mind, chiefly growing out of the fact that some-thing in what Mrs. Brown had said set conscience to work, andconscience accused her of neglected duty. " I'll turn over a newleaf with Jim," she said angrily to herself, after sitting and think-ing for a good while after Mrs. Brown went away. "He shan'ttramp off every night just as he pleases."So, nursing her anger, Mrs. Moyer waited for Jim's return,when she meant to berate him soundly, and lay down the law forhis future government. He was later in coming home than usual,and this lateness worked on Mrs. Moyer's frame of mind as anirritant." Where have you been, sir ?" was the unexpected demand thatsurprised the boy as he came in. The angry voice and coun-tenance of his mother surprised him still more, for of late he hadbeen allowed to go and come pretty much as he pleased. " Wherehave you been, sir? Why don't you answer me?"Mrs. Moyer caught Jim by the shoulder, and shook him in aparoxysm of rage. When her anger rose, it usually overmasteredher. Self-control was one of the lessons she had never learned.
MOTHER AND SON. 97'Treatment like this roused all that was evil in the boy's nature."I've been where I pleased," he answered roughly.At this his mother beat him about the head in a blind fury.Jim defended himself as best he could until his mother's rage hadspent itself, when he escaped from her, and went off to bed in amost rebellious state of mind. He lay awake for a whole hour,meditating evil." I hate her, and I'll spite her !" So he thought and said inbitter anger.It was after ten o'clock when John Brown came in. He openedthe door softly, hoping that his mother would not hear him. Butshe met him as he entered, saying gently, but in a voice that wastroubled-" This is all wrong, my son. Where have you been ?""I didn't know it was so late, mother," answered the boyrespectfully."Where have you been ?" Mrs. Brown repeated her question.John was silent, and his silence sent a sharp pain through hismother's heart. He stood with drooping eyes, and somethingdogged in his manner. There was a look like guilt in his face."John," said Mrs. Brown, speaking in a tender, yet seriousand impressive manner, " the boy who is afraid or ashamed to tellhis mother where he has been, is walking in dangerous ways.Were you with Jim Moyer ?""Yes, ma'am.""I'm afraid he is not a good boy. Do you think he is ?"John made no reply to this."There is one thing, my son, that I will have to insist upon,"said Mrs. Brown firmly. "You must not be out in the evening6
98 MOTHER AND SON.after nine o'clock. Indeed, being out at all is against my wishes.If your father were living, he would, I know, forbid your leavingthe house at night unless he knew, in every case, where youwere going."To all this John answered nothing, but stood with downcasteyes, and an expression of countenance that troubled his mother."My dear boy"-there were tears in Mrs. Brown's eyes, andher voice shook as she spoke-" there are only two ways in life-a right way and a wrong way. The right way leads to happiness,the wrong way to misery. You are old enough to know what isright and what is wrong. If your feet are going astray, you arenot walking in ignorance of the dangers that surround you. OJohn! for my sake, for your dead father's sake, for your ownsake, I beseech you to come back into better and safer paths."A hot flush spread over the boy's face, and his eyes glistened,as he looked up hurriedly at his mother, and then turned himselfpartly away."Good-night, my son," said Mrs. Brown."Good-night," answered John, and went up to bed.Mrs. Brown retired to her room, and sat there for nearly anhour, still, almost, as a statue. Then, kneeling at her bedside,she prayed for her boy, weeping bitter tears.In the morning John was in a better state of mind, and, whenhis mother talked to him, promised to keep himself away fromall bad companions.In a very different frame of mind from this was Mrs. Moyer'sboy when he left home in the morning, and went to the shopwhere he worked. His mother rated him angrily at breakfast,
MOTHER AND SON. 99and when he left the house, bitterness and rebellion were in hisheart. The two boys met on the street."Did you catch it last night?" was the salutation of JimMoyer."No," was answered." Well, I did! The old woman pitched into me like a thunder-storm. But I'll be even with her. Next time I'll stay out untileleven o'clock; and if she cuffs me about again, I'll stay out allnight-see if I don't."" You'd better not," replied John. "I've promised mother tobe in at nine o'clock."" Ho What a spoony !" shouted Jim, derisively.The blood mounted to John's forehead. He could not bearridicule. This was one of his weaknesses."I'm not an apron-string boy," added Jim, with a sneer."Neither am I," said John. "But right's right.""It isn't right to force a boy who works hard all day to stayin the house at night, and never let him have a bit of fun,"answered Jim Moyer. "They can't break me into that. I'llrun away first.""Run away!" responded John, in momentary surprise at thesuggestion."Yes; and I've a mind to do it anyhow. I'm tired of beingharped at all the time. It got into my head last night, after theold woman cuffed me, and it's been going around there ever since."Wouldn't it be jolly to go about and do just as you please ? Ithink so."The boys parted, having agreed to meet after supper at a s. 'oon
100 MOTHER AND SON.-not to get liquor, though they often treated themselves to aglass of beer when they had spending-money, but to play atdominoes, and to listen to the coarse and too often obscene talkof the men and boys who nightly assembled there.Already the imaginations of both were sadly corrupted, yet,in the case of John Brown, there were in him elements of good,and he had home influence, all of which were a perpetual re-straint-that, but for the too close companionship of Jim Moyer,would have held him back from the evil ways his feet were enter-ing, and might have wholly withdrawn him from danger.The boys met in the evening, as they had agreed. There wasmuch company at the saloon, a good deal of story-telling, ribaldsongs, and boisterous mirth. As the hands on the clock ap-proached nine, John watched them uneasily. He had promisedhis mother not to be away later than that hour, and he meant tokeep his promise. But never had the attractions of the placeseemed so strong. A man who had been to sea was telling astory of adventure, and John was listening with eager interest.Nine o'clock came. The man's story, not half done, was in themost exciting part. How could the boy tear himself away?Minute after minute went by, and still the story went on, Johnlistening with an almost breathless interest. He lost himself inthe stirring narrative-forgot time and place-starting with sur-prise and almost pain, at length, as his glance fell upon the clock,whose dial showed them that it was almost ten." Good gracious !" he exclaimed half aloud, as he rose to hisfeet. Jim, who was by his side, caught hold of him, saying, in apositive voice-" Stop, old fellow! You're not going ?"
MOTHER AND SON. 101" Oh but I must. I promised mother to be home by nine.""And it's nearly ten. So you can't keep that promise, myhearty In for a penny, in for a pound. Might as well die fora sheep as a lamb.""What's the matter, boys ?" asked the man who had just beentelling his adventurous story." Oh! nothing; only John Brown is one of your apron-stringchaps, and wants to get home to his ma!"The blood mounted to John's face as the man laughed coarsely."He'll soon get bravely over that," answered the latter."How old are you ?" he added, looking keenly into John's faceas he asked the question."Thirteen next March," replied John."And how old are you?" speaking to Jim."Twelve," said Jim."Two likely chaps. Just the kind to see the world. Here,waiter! bring out one large and two small glasses of ale. Wereyou ever at sea ?""No, sir," answered Jim."Would like to go-see that in your eyes.""Guess I would. Go to-night, if I had the chance," answeredJim."Boy after my own heart," said the man, slapping him on theshoulder.Jim straightened himself up and looked very proud.The ale was brought by the waiter, and the two boys invitedto drink. It was strong ale, and went quickly to John's head,thus giving him over to the tempter.
102- MOTHER AND SON."Well, sorrowful to relate, neither John Brown nor Jim Moyerwent to their homes that night. When day broke for them, theywere on board a whaling ship, with sails spread to the winds, andmoorings just cast loose.Three days of fear and uncertainty passed, when Mrs. Browngot these brief lines from her boy, sent by a pilot who had takenthe ship to sea:--"DEAR MOTHER: I did mean to come home by nine, as I toldyou, but I was tempted to stay later. I've gone to sea, and don'tknow when I'll be back. It's all wrong to bring this trouble onyou-you've been so good. If it wasn't for you and little Emily,and Harry, I wouldn't care. I shall like the sea, I know. Don'tworry about me, and don't let Harry go out at night. I'll comeout all straight. Good-by, dear mother. JOHN."Poor Mrs. Brown! The shock was so terrible that it madeher sick, and there was a time when the doctor despaired of herlife. Very slowly she rallied, but her feeble health was feebler,and the hope of better days to come, when her oldest boy shouldbe able to help her bear the too heavy burdens of life, was almostdead in her heart. John's weekly wages had for some time beenher main dependence; and now, with two children to provide for,and only the resource of her needle, poor Mrs. Brown had tofight more fiercely the wolf at her door.Months went by, but neither Mrs. Brown nor Mrs. Moyer hadany tidings from the boys. A year, and still a silence like thatof the grave was on their fate. Two, three, four years, and yetthere came no word.
MOTHER AND SON. 103Mrs. Moyer, when she found that Jim had run away from home,was very bitter against him, and prophesied his utter ruin."He was always a ne'er-do-well," she said, "and no good willever come to him. If he's not drowned, he'll be hung."And yet, even as she said this, nature pleaded for him, andmade the mother's eyes wet with tears. Ah! if she had beenwiser and more loving-if she had ruled her own spirit while try-ing to rule him-the boy's chances in life would have been ahundredfold better.It is more than six years since John Brown left home. He isnearly twenty years of age. For all that time he has been awanderer in distant lands and seas, thousands and thousands ofmiles away from the land of his birth. He has met hardship anddanger, has been through many temptations, and fallen into manysad evils and vices, but never into crime. From this, the thoughtof his mother, and the lessons she had stored up in his mind, hasalways held him back. Many times has he written to her, butalways destroyed the letters. He had not the heart to send them." She thinks me dead, and it is better so," he would say bitterlyto himself as he tore them up.It was a wild night on the sea. The wind was blowing a gale,and the waves dashed heavily. Standing near the side of theship, looking into the black sky, out of which every now andthen leaped blinding flashes, was a young man in a sailor's dress.The lightning that lit his face revealed a handsome countenance,browned by exposure, and clear, strong eyes, full of courage, yetsaddened by some intruding thoughts.
104 MOTHER AND SON.Lifting his hands without a seeming purpose, as if in absent-mindedness, he took firm hold of the shrouds. In the next in-stant his feet were high in the air A mountain wave, the onwardroll of which had not been seen in the darkness, broke over theship, sweeping off men, and boats, and everything not held bythe firmest fastenings.The young man's involuntary grip of the shrouds had savedhim! The captain, who had stepped on deck at the moment theship was struck, went over, and was lost; so was the mate. Ofthose that were left, only this young man could sail the ship,and on him devolved the duty of command. Those who saw himon the day before, and on the morning after the storm, scarcelyrecognised him as the same individual. All his gay recklessnesswas gone-all his careless bearing. In their stead was a grave,half-sad, quiet and reserved manner, that seemed to lift him awayfrom his old companions, at the same time that it inspired respect.In his new position all gave him obedience.The ship was from China, bound to Valparaiso, with silks andteas. Here a cargo of hides was to be taken in for the UnitedStates. At Valparaiso, reached in three weeks after the youngman took charge of the vessel, it had been his intention to leaveher and go up the coast to California. But a change had comeover him. New life-purposes were forming. "Let the past die-I have another future," he said resolutely to himself.When the consignees at Valparaiso learned all the particularsof the captain's loss, and the good service the young man hadrendered in bringing the ship safely to port, they not only made
MOTHER AND SON. 105him a handsome present in money, but put him in command forthe homeward voyage to New York." Seven years to-night," said Mrs. Brown, raising herself inbed with an effort. " Seven years to-night. 0 Father whereis my boy?" And a look of anguish, blended with hope andentreaty, swept over her face as she lifted her eyes upward."I have kept him ever before Thee, 0 God! Daily have Iprayed that he might be held back from evil. If he still lives,oh! lead him home to his mother!"A hand was on the door. Mrs. Brown started, and an eager,expectant look came flushing into her face. The door openedinto the small, poorly furnished room, and a girl of fifteenentered." Oh! it's you, Emily?" said Mrs. Brown, in a tone of disap-pointment that did not escape her daughter's ear."Yes, mother; but who did you think it was ?"" Oh no one in particular," and the sick woman turned herface away from her daughter's searching looks." Mrs. Moyer's heard from Jim," said Emily. At this hermother started up quickly, her pale face growing paler."What of him ?" she asked."Nothing good, of course. He's dead.""Dead !""Yes. And that isn't the worst of it-he's been hung forpiracy.""Hung !"-and Mrs. Brown fell back on the bed, uttering adeep groan.
106 MOTHER AND SON."The news came to-day, in a letter written to his motherbefore his death. Mrs. Flack told me as I came home. It wasa dreadful letter, she says. He told her that it was all her fault;that if she had taken better care of him when he was a little boy,and not scolded and knocked him about the way she did, it mightall have been different."" Did he say anything about John ?" asked Mrs. Brown, risingup in bed and looking eagerly at her daughter."No."" Are you sure?"" Yes. I asked Mrs. Flack-and she heard the letter read."Mrs. Brown sunk back again on the pillows from which she hadlifted her sick head, closed her eyes, and turned her face to thewall, while Emily, who had just come home from her day's workat a dressmaker's, drew out a small table, laid it with a whitecloth, and commenced getting tea."Harry is late to-night," said Mrs. Brown, a slight uneasinessin her voice."They keep him late," replied Emily. " The fact is, they puttoo much on him. Mr. Grayloft has no more feeling for a boythan for a dog. And then to give him only a dollar a week! Ifwe were not so poor-"A quick, strong knock, caused Emily to start. Before shecould move to answer it, the door was pushed open by a stoutman. His face was brown from exposure, and partly covered bya short beard and moustache. For a few moments he stoodsilently surveying the room, then striding across to the bed, he